Coleus Amboinicus (Lour.) Leaves as a Modulator of Ruminal Methanogenesis and Biohydrogenation in Vitro

J Anim Sci. 2018 Nov 21;96(11):4868-4881. doi: 10.1093/jas/sky321.


Active plant metabolites (APM) are recognized as modifiers of ruminal microbial fermentation including methanogenesis and biohydrogenation of fatty acids (FA). Coleus amboinicus Lour. leaves (CAL) are rich in several APM, which could serve as ruminal fermentation modulators. A phytochemical analysis showed that CAL contain phenolic acids (10.4 mg·g-1 dry matter [DM]; high in rosmarinic acid), flavonoids (2.6 mg·g-1 DM), diterpenes (2 mg·g-1 DM), and linolenic acid (35.4 g (100 g)-1 FA). This study aimed to investigate the effect of CAL on ruminal methanogenesis and biohydrogenation as well as basic fermentation characteristics and microbial populations. The in vitro experiment was carried out using Hohenheim gas test system with 40 mL of buffered ruminal fluid incubated for 24 h at 39 °C in anaerobic conditions. Approximately 400 mg (DM basis) of total mixed ration (TMR) was used as a control substrate and the CAL substrate was used at doses of 10, 20, 40, and 80 mg DM replacing equal amounts of TMR. Addition of CAL decreased methane production up to 30% linearly as the amount of CAL increased (P < 0.05). In vitro dry matter digestibility and ammonia tended to increase with increasing doses of CAL. Concentration of total volatile fatty acids was not affected by the CAL although there appeared to be a minor positive linear trend; however, acetate, butyrate, and isobutyrate proportion increased quadratically (P < 0.001). CAL tended to linearly increase α-linolenic acid and conjugated linoleic acid as well as increased stearic acid concentration in buffered ruminal fluid. CAL particularly increased total protozoa and bacterial populations during fermentation, but inhibited methanogens. It is concluded that the CAL may be promising to be used as a feed additive to decrease methanogenesis as well as biohydrogenation of FA in the rumen.

MeSH terms

  • Animals
  • Coleus / chemistry*
  • Diet / veterinary
  • Dietary Supplements*
  • Digestion / drug effects
  • Fatty Acids / metabolism*
  • Fatty Acids, Volatile / analysis
  • Female
  • Fermentation / drug effects
  • Hydrogenation
  • Hydroxybenzoates / analysis
  • Methane / metabolism*
  • Plant Leaves / chemistry
  • Plant Preparations / chemistry
  • Plant Preparations / pharmacology*
  • Rumen / metabolism
  • Rumen / microbiology
  • Rumen / parasitology


  • Fatty Acids
  • Fatty Acids, Volatile
  • Hydroxybenzoates
  • Plant Preparations
  • phenolic acid
  • Methane